May 2016 Savings, plus other Updates

My last ‘normal’ month for a while, so how did I get on in May?


Ooooh, so close at 49.2%!

My average savings rate now stands at 51.3%, so still on target.

This month’s income was boosted by £50 from rent received, £123 gambling winnings (a small punt on Leicester winning the league, a small win from the Eurovision Song Contest sweep at work and a big win from Man U winning the FA Cup!) and £9.14 from TopCashback*.

Future Fund 

New capital and steady markets mean that my pot now stands at £68,127.91.

Dividends and Other Income

Dividends received this month (which will be reinvested):


So a total of £55.20, only slightly up on last May’s £53.23. Although I’ve added new capital, the income is lower than anticipated due to no dividend from Standard Chartered and a dividend cut from Ladbrokes. Also, I no longer have shares in Amlin  as they got bought out and that was a good dividend payout.

Total dividends received this year now stand at £228.71, still quite a bit away from my goal of £720, with 7 months to go. Average dividend income so far is £45.74 per month, average over 12 months now at £119.06.

I also received £14.87 interest from my P2P investments.

Matched Betting

Setting myself a £500 target for this month wasn’t such a great idea, considering that the majority of my matched betting was on UK football and the football season ended a couple of weeks ago.

So, I spent quite a bit of time on tennis accumulators (with mixed success) and took advantage of some of the international and European football matches.

Anyway, I still managed to make £458 profit this month, making my total earned from matched betting £1210 since I started in March.

Like last month, I only received bonuses from opening two new accounts; the bulk of my income came from reload/repeatable offers with existing accounts.

Despite not getting to £500, I’m very happy with the amount I’ve made and I’ll be well happy if I can continue to bring this amount in every month.


Alas, I also got ‘gubbed’ from my first account! ‘Gubbed’ means either your betting stakes are limited, or you are not allowed to participate in any of that bookmaker’s special offers. In my case, it was the latter. It’s a shame that I’ve lost one of my accounts but fortunately, it’s not one of my major accounts.

There should be lots of matched betting opportunities when Euro 2016 starts. However, I will have family staying for me for much of the time so chances are I will not be devoting my usual amount of time to matched betting. Or blogging for that matter.

Shares and Investment Trusts

No new purchases of shares or investment trusts this month.  I did however switch a couple of funds into ETFs (that are held with Hargreaves Lansdown) which should reduce my fees a little.

Current portfolio can be found here.


Further to an earlier post about donating more to charity, I made my first £50 donation. After much deliberation, I chose the Magic Breakfast charity.

As commented on TFS’ recent charity post, I was fortunate never to have suffered from hunger while I was at school. Some kids are not so fortunate, so this charity aims to help out a little.

I also signed up to weekly lotteries run by Age UKMacMillan Cancer and the British Red Cross (thanks to OR for the idea).  There’s probably room for at least one more there and I think I’ll check out one of these (thank Emma for the link!)

I chose Age UK because well, I might need a helping hand should my FI plan/investments go pear-shaped in my old age; MacMillan Cancer as friends and family have suffered from cancer, and the British Red Cross to help out with world disasters.

As with other lotteries that I take part in, I don’t really expect to win anything but I like that there is a ‘chance’ of winning something and it seems like a good way for me to support these charities.

All of these are being funded out of my Matched Betting bank account (thanks to TFS for that idea!) and will work out at between 7.5% – 10% of profits earned being donated.

Non-Financial Goals Update

Here’s how things look on the goals front in brief:


As I had to dip into the emergency fund again recently, I’ll have to make sure I put back enough to ensure I’m on track to reach my goal by the end of the year – have to balance that out with my investing.

Still no progress on the reading front but I have finally finished re-reading the last Game of Thrones book so can dive straight into library books!

Hope you all had a great May!


24 thoughts on “May 2016 Savings, plus other Updates

  1. I’d be very interested to know your hourly rate from matched betting

    i.e. profit/hours sat at a computer

    how does it compare to your job?

    The sums that people seem to be making seem quite high, but if it requires a lot of time then maybe its not so great?

  2. Hi The Rhino

    Funnily enough, I thought I’d try to keep tabs of my time spent matched betting and profit made this month and it worked out at around £16/hour (around 30 mins weekday evenings, a couple of hours each on Sat/Sun). This figure is not too far from what I earn from my salaried job, except that the matched betting figure is tax free and I made it in the comfort of my own home, whilst watching TV, in my pyjamas and slippers/without makeup/with other home comforts! 🙂

    Time vs profits does depend on the offers you do – I’m not hitting every offer available, I don’t go for the maximum free bets and there are many offers that I don’t do, such as horse racing and casino ones, both of which can be lucrative. If I did the latter two, I would spend a lot more time and right now, I’m comfortable with the time spent so I can still get on with other stuff in my life. I don’t do any matched betting during the day (apart from weekends) – I don’t want it to take over my life.

    I tend to go for quick and easy offers/low profits, rather than more complicated offers/high profits.

    Some people do make huge sums but I don’t feel like I need to aim for that much!

    • Thanks for the info very useful, don’t think I could get 6.5hrs through the relevant diplomatic channels here at rhino acres, especially not the weekend ones. Definitely not at £16/hr.

      I think I’ll fold on that one, before I even start..

      • That’s just me though. Others seem to be able to earn a lot more spending the same amount of time, but the general rule of thumb with matched betting seems to be that the more time you put in, the more you can earn.

        Much of my time is spent reading about offers and deals and completing my own spreadsheets, so I could probably be more economical with my time! Hopefully, I can fine-tune it as I go along!

        • yes – still seems fair to say its not wildly lucrative on a £/hr basis.

          I have found that doing jobs you would otherwise outsource is typically wildly lucrative.

          I fitted a bunch of LED downlights the other day, after getting a quote from a spark. I was earning ~£70hr for the job. The efficiency of not having to pay income tax and VAT on work you do yourself is huge! Now that juice is definitely worth the squeeze.

          • Nice £/hour! Even better if you enjoyed doing the job! The main thing is that I enjoy matched betting, which can’t be said for every aspect of my normal job, so it’s a hobby that pays!

  3. You’ve had another great month there!
    We’ve had a pretty spendy month so the savings rate will drop but to be honest it’s been a really fun packed month so not going to complain at all.

    If you can make around 400-500 a month on matched betting with limited time inputs you are looking at 5-6 grand tax free a year to ultimately go towards your investments/freedom fund (and charity!) which I think anyone with half a brain would say that is pretty amazing.

    I *only* made about 600 this month but I seemed to spend a fair bit of time on it compared to other months where I made more which is strange. Not sure if I messed any lays up (I don’t log every single bet so hard to say) although I am working on a new strategy (with the standard new spreadsheets needed which always takes a bit of time to set up… haha) on which the profit will pay out a month in arrears (will do a post on this soon) so maybe that is why the figures don’t look quite so good this month.

    Who did you get gubbed with out of interest? I’ve been done by coral and 10bet (although the latter didn’t email me, I just noticed I was not eligible for one of their reload offers) recently.


    • Cheers TFS.

      Yes, if I can make a steady £400-£500 a month from matched betting, I’ll be well happy. Well done to you on your ‘only’ £600! I’m like you, I still occasionally make mistakes but I do make a note of each of my lays so don’t have so much of an excuse, haha!

      I got gubbed by StanJames and I didn’t get an email, I only found out via live chat when I chased up a free bet days after it should have been paid in. When I checked back on my account, I’d only ever won one small bet with them but had taken advantage of a lot of their offers and not placed any mug bets. I do place the occasion mug bet on my major accounts, eg Paddy, Hills, etc when I see close matches on big events. Coral has been one I’ve been using recently for tennis accas so I’ll be counting on it for Wimbledon!

  4. Hey Weenie, looks like another great month.

    Do you never get tempted to calculate your monthly savings rate as you go and squeeze a little something more into the savings this month. 49.2% is AMAZING, and you’re still above target for the year but I’m not sure I could stand being 0.8% away from a goal. This probably means you are a better-adjusted person than me!

    Good work on the charity giving too. I’ve always felt much better in myself when I’m happy with the amount I’m giving away.

    Have a good June!

    • Hey Emma

      Thanks and oh yes, I do a kind of running tab of my monthly savings rate and if I can, I try to squeeze in more by the end of the month! However, if doing so means I end up going overdrawn, I don’t do it, no matter how tempting – I’d only be cheating myself!

      And cheers for the idea re the charity stuff!

      Have a great June yourself!

  5. Hey weenie,

    Averaging investing half your salary is brill. Keep up the good work!


  6. Hi Weenie

    I can only see your savings rate go up as you make more from matched betting. In two months I only managed £135 profit and I didnt make any mistakes. I guess I need to learn more about accas as I am clueless in this area!

    • Hi Laura
      Yes, the plan is to use some of the matched betting profits and start investing it. £135 is still a good amount of profit and well done for not making any mistakes! You are obviously taking your time and being meticulous about it, I was rushing! Accas I think can make a lot of money if you do a lot of them – I can see how they can work with what I do but they can be time consuming.

  7. Hi Weenie,
    Congratulations on yet another fantastic month – saving for all bound of 50% is a superb rate – something I can only dream of!
    Keep up the good work and getting the emergency fund back up (it does help!).
    I have to say I am with The Rhino on the match betting, I see all the amount people in the FI community earn, but I look at the time required, and I can’t guarantee I have that time available, so I just dont bother 🙂
    Good luck for June!

    • Hey LR

      Thanks – I see some bloggers reporting saving 60-70% and I think, wow, if only I could save that much but I’m not sure what kind of life I’d end up having to ‘endure'(or what friends I’d still have!). I believe in ‘cutting back’, not ‘sacrificing’ stuff in my pursuit of FI. It’s all relative anyway – people on different wages, with different expenses etc.

      The matched betting I see as a ‘hobby that pays’, so it’s something I’m doing by choice, in my spare time, which I enjoy and which is making me money, so I’m not overly concerned about my hourly rate. I spend hours binge watching tv shows like Game of Thrones, Blacklist, etc – my hourly rate on that hobby is zero – if only I could work out a way to get paid for that, haha! 🙂

      The huge amounts that I see other people making are truly amazing but they must put in a lot more time than I do to make that amount.

      Cheers and good luck to you too for June!

      • Hi Weenie,
        I am with you on finding the right balance to enjoy life, but also make sure you are saving comfortably. I could cut back more and probably hit about 40 to 50% savings rate, but it would mean absolutely no going out, no booze at home and so forth – something I am happy to work for a few more years to be able to enjoy now!
        I like your way of thinking – if you and enjoy it why not 🙂 Like Mr. Z below I see people doing it and wonder if I should invest the time to learn, but I just dont seem to have the spare time to do it (a very poor excuse!)
        Thanks – its started well as I had my first Premium Bond win for a while, so fingers crossed!

        • No going out, no booze – you’d be miserable! 😉 The key is definitely balancing enjoying life with saving.

          Congrats on your Premium Bond win! I had another small win too! May we both have many more! 🙂

  8. Nice work Weenie! Still smashing the 50% average 🙂

    Matched Betting has got my interest a little bit – it seems to be everywhere at the moment! 😀 Does worry me when I see it tagged as risk free though.

    Your YoY dividends look very nice indeed.

    Your last ‘normal’ month?

    • Cheers Mr Z

      For some reason, I think matched betting will suit you – the spreadsheet side of it, as well as income generated would I think appeal to you. Check out LiveHappySaveMore’s latest post on matched betting where he talks about how he keeps track of everything.

      Yep, dividends coming along nicely. Ok, they pale in comparison to my matched betting income at the moment but I love that they are truly passive, that income’s just come rolling in.

      May was my last ‘normal month’ because shortly, I will have my folks staying with me for a while (as in at least 2 months….). At some point, other members of the family will be coming to stay too so it’ll be a full on noisy house (kids and all), so there will be days out, extra expenses, less time for my matched betting and my blogging. And living frugally!

      • I’ll check out the MB site, thanks!

        Ah I see, it’s going to be a hectic few months ahead then. It will be fun, if not tiring!

        And, like you say, your dividends will keep on rolling in.

    • Oh and yes, I agree – it’s risk free…when compared to gambling! There’s still an element amount of luck involved. Example, one of the regular horse racing offers is that you get a free bet but ONLY if your horse finishes 2nd to the favourite. So you could be lucky and your horse does come second to the favourite and you get your free bet. But it if wins, or it comes in any position other than 2nd, you get nothing. These I think are harder to get, but back enough horses, then your chances of a free bet will increase.

  9. Wish i would have found your website earlier – i use to do a lot of matchedbetting (and poker). But due to lack of time, and being restricted at quite a few of the larger (and restriction because of my country) i stopped doing it. If done correctly it can be very lucrative.

    So we have crossed paths when i went from matched betting to the road of FI. And you use matchedbetting to help on your road. You are smarter than me in that regard. Would have made my trip a whole lot easier.

    Good luck with your journey, will keep an eye out on your progress and will meet you at the finish! (Save me a cold one)

    • Hi Mr MB
      Yes, matched betting can be lucrative – I’m doing it at a comfortable (to me) level, so that I can make enough money to make a difference. I’m not actually interested in making as much as I can – I feel that if I aimed for that, I wouldn’t enjoy it so much and right now, it is an enjoyable hobby!

      I see that you are starting your own blog so I shall stop by to see what you are up to. I’ll be interested to read your review of Kevin J Anderson’s Saga of the Seven Suns as I have read that series!

      Thanks for the kind wishes and all the best with your journey to FI!

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